Canada’s women’s team advances at Pan Am Cup

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can wom volleyball pan am cup

Canada has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 NORCECA Women’s Pan-American Volleyball Cup in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with a 3-2 record in Pool A.

That record was good enough for a third place finish in the group behind the host team and Puerto Rico.

By virtue of their third place finish in the six-team group, Canada will play Cuba, which finished in second place in Pool B, in the quarterfinals on Friday. Cuba finished behind the United States and ahead of Argentina for the three qualifying spots from the group.

Canada wrapped up pool play on Tuesday and Wednesday with a pair of straight-set matches against the Dominican Republic and Mexico with the first game a loss and a victory in the other.

In tough against a Dominican Republic side that is headed to Brazil for the Olympics next month, Canada started strong but after dropping a heartbreakingly close set, Canada faltered in the next two (24-26, 21-25, 13-25). Shainah Joseph (Ottawa, ON) and Michaela Reesor (Caledon, ON) were the leading scorers for Canada with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“We started playing very well and leading 24-21 (in the first set). Maybe my players started to think too much about winning the set and put pressure on themselves,” Canadian head coach Arnd Ludwig told the tournament’s website. “We made some mistakes and the Dominicans improved and served well, made some blocks and made some good digs.”

Earlier results had already assured Canada of a berth in the quarterfinals but they finished in style on Monday, finishing off Mexico in style in straight sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-14). Reesor and Danielle Brisebois (also of Caledon) each had 11 points while Danielle Smith (Beaverlodge, AB) chipped in with four of Canada’s seven aces.

Canada faced Cuba during pool play at the 2015 edition of this tournament, which was held in Peru, with Cuba coming away with a straight-sets victory. Cuba went onto finish fourth in that competition while Canada finished in fifth.

“We played clean volleyball in a must-win match,” Lucy Charuk of Tsawwassen, BC. told the tournament’s website of the win over Mexico. “We are getting ready for the second round.”

The tournament’s semifinals, finals and other matches to determine the overall standings take place over the weekend.

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